Hartke bass amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by The Metal Guy, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. The Metal Guy

    The Metal Guy

    Nov 5, 2005
    Anyone think or know anything about Hartke?

    I play in a power trio, and I need a little help on the wattage. Currently, I use a little Fender practise amp that is far too under-powered to face my guitarist and crack-layed drummer.

    So, what wattage should the Hartke I get be?
    Mario123 likes this.
  2. specplyrz

    specplyrz Inactive

    Nov 11, 2005
    I owened the Hartke 3500, 350 watts and the 5500, 500 watts. I liked the 5500. Tube or s/s preamp, the ability to "mix" them together. I also owned the a pair of 115xl 15" speakers. Good tone, a bit on the bright side, (aluminum cones) and I had two vx810. Unfortunatly, both these 810 cabinets arrived either damaged in transit, or bad qc as the bracing in both of them was broken. But they sounded warm. Hartke has just come out with paper speakers for a warmer tone. It's good gear for the price.
  3. The Metal Guy

    The Metal Guy

    Nov 5, 2005
    Another thing is it needs to be as portable as possible.

    As in, it needs to be able to fit in the back of an average SUV without tipping the damn car over.
  4. BassyBill

    BassyBill Still here Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    We don't seem to get that many Metal Guys checking out Hartke! So be warned that they might not be for you. But as you've asked...

    I love Hartke gear - some don't. The typical Hartke sound is very neutral or "hi-fi" to me (as in clarity, rather than scooped mids), with a fair bit of punch, and this is what I'm after. Some people prefer more of a "vintage" sound with more drive or edge that Hartkes generally have. In other words, some amps seem to have a tonal character they add to whatever bass you're playing at the time, Hartke's tend not to add or take away much from whatever signal they're given, IME. I personally really like the xl range of cabs with ali cones. I've heard mixed reports about the cheaper cabs.

    I have 5000 and 3000 heads, 210xl, 2.5xl and 115xl cabs. This gives me flexibility as well as backup (not that I've needed backup, no reliability problems with my stuff so far). I use the 3000 with the 2.5xl for smaller gigs, 5000 with 115 and 2.5xl for medium, and the 5000 with all three cabs for bigger venues. I've had a good few compliments on the sounds I get from this lot, which is always rather sweet.

    Recently on stage I've been angling the 2.5xl back on a stand for smaller gigs - it means I can hear what I'm doing without blasting out my band's front line (singer, three saxes, two brass) or people three rows back. This works great, and I still have the option of taking a direct line out to the PA.

    As for what you should get, it depends on what you want it for. It sounds like you're rehearsing rather than gigging at the moment, right? If that's the case I'd get something loud enough for rehearsals that will also cope with smaller gigs a bit later on. Do you want a combo or a head and cab? What size drivers do you prefer? Will you use the rig on it's own for gigs, or is it just for your on stage sound and the PA will take care of front of house?

    Bearing in mind all of the above, I think I might take a look at the Kickback combos as a step up from your practice amp. 120W (but Hartke stuff tends to be louder than you might expect for the power rating, in my experience), the Kickback design means you can angle it back as described above, and they have a direct out for connection to the PA for bigger venues. I'd probably go for the version with a 12" driver as a compromise between the 10" and 15" versions.

    Hope this gives you some ideas ;)

    EDIT And... at 42lbs, it's pretty portable. I think I might get one myself! Now look what you've done... :D

    Here's a link to the Kickback 12
  5. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks I build Grosbeak Guitars and Basses Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Grosbeak Guitars
    I have a HA4000 Head which I've been using for a while. 300watts at 8ohms, 400 at 4ohms. I'm in a simialar situation, noisy guitarist who cranks to "eleven" and a drummer who beats on his drums as if they were talking trash about his mother. Usually only run in through an 8ohm cab and I find I could use a tad more power to really be heard. All in all it would probably be a million times better than a small Fender combo.
  6. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Hartke's making bass amps?!? :confused: I thought they were only making treble amps!!!
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars

    You're getting the amps confused with the cabs.

    The Hartke bass amps have plenty of low end...as long as you pair them with a good cab.

    As you can tell, I'm not a fan of the cabs, but I do like the heads. I have one of the older mosfet 3500's and it sounds great and has no lack of low end...I know, I'm a reggae player who uses no treble at all.

    I've always felt that Hartke built their heads to balance out the high-end response of their cabs, so they've got some nice low end. When I originally bought my 3500, I checked it against both SWR and GK and prefered the bottom on the 3500 much more than either.

    These days, I use a 400+ as my main head, but everytime I plug in the 3500 for practice or smaller gigs where I want to travel light, I'm reminded and surprised at how great it sounds.
  8. BassyBill

    BassyBill Still here Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    :D I actually get plenty of low end from my rig when I bi-amp the 15 with the 10s. But I do have the balance over towards the 15 - needs more power down there, right? I can get pretty close to an Entwhistle throaty grumble out of this, I think you'd love it! ;)

    But looking at your influences and rig in your profile, I have to admit that I don't think a Hartke rig with just 10s and no 15s would be your thing. :(
  9. The Metal Guy

    The Metal Guy

    Nov 5, 2005
    I'm looking for like 600W so I don't have to make an amp change for a long time.
  10. Fathand

    Fathand 21st Century Distortion Man Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    I've got a HA2000 head & VX1508 cab (and a VX115 on the way), and as I've stated before I can hold my own against two death metal guitarists. With just 120w/8 ohms.

    And beat them (if necessary)when the new 1x15 arrives, then it will be 200w/4 ohms (I'd like to upgrade to 300-600w, just to get some more headroom but that isn't a must right now).


    Hope this helps at least a bit.
  11. The Metal Guy

    The Metal Guy

    Nov 5, 2005
    Someone said earlier (I apologise for not knowing your names) that for maximum results, that pairing up a Hartke head with a (insert name here) cabinet would work better.

    So I ask, are Fender cabinets any good?
  12. username1


    Dec 28, 2005
    alberta canada
    I think your confusing them with SUNN amps "fender's novice line"
  13. phaneo

    phaneo Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2001
    Fort Worth TX
    Man I played thru a Hartke HA 4000 for years into Peavey 410 and 115 in a metal band with two guitarists paying full stacks and a drummer who had to buy a bullet-proof snare head to keep from breaking it and I had plenty of power for any gig, inside or out. Inexpensive amp with really impressive performance!!!!!!!
  14. lame(B)ass


    Jun 18, 2004

    GAH! That was MY line! :D :D :D
  15. Crockettnj


    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    ime you will barely notice th edifference between a 300 and a 600 watt head, assuming all else is the same
  16. username1


    Dec 28, 2005
    alberta canada
    I really get tired of the hartke bashing that goes on here. Ever notice how the hartke bashers are always novice players with very little experience trying to tell pro players what is good and bad? I have used everything at one time or another and can honestly say that the hartke with a tube change rates in there with all of them at alot lower price. i think the equipment snobery comes because hartkes go for a decent price. When mommy or dady isnt buying your amps and you are a real musician you will appreciate amps like this that a working musician can afford.
  17. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    As a person who couldnt care less about Hartke or Sunn, I wholeheartedly disagree. Sunn is not novice gear, neither is the more expensive Hartke stuff.
  18. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    When did Sunn that was around and making bass amps in the 50's become Fenders Novic line? Fender Bought out The Sunn company and As of now at least the Fender bassman 1200 and the 300T amps are the same Sunn design made by fender. When they first bought the company they sold off all the sunn equiptment with the Fender badge on it. So Sunn Is Very good Professional Equiptment. And Fender Bass cabs are at best middle of the road stuff. Find a music store near you and play everything you can. It is also worth checking out the used market. There are some very good deals there. ;)
  19. username1


    Dec 28, 2005
    alberta canada
    Actually you are right. I only made that comment because "OX" the hartke basher uses sunn. My first pro bass amp in the late sixties was a sunn 200s and was a very good amp. My appologies for playing his game with him.
  20. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    You kids coming in and wrecking our forum! :D

    (For the record, Im seven months younger than The Ox)